Sunday, February 14, 2016

Nerska Junction: BNSF/Santa Fe vs. BRC (BRC called it LeMoyne)

(CRJ, Satellite)

(Update: This Santa Fe crossing, along with the GM&O crossing, was considered just one junction, LeMoyne, by BRC. But I'm keeping this Nerska posting and the GM&O LeMoyne posting separate because most railfan photos are of one crossing or the other.)

Steven J. Brown posted
Santa Fe GP7u 2194 (built 1952 as ATSF 2712 became BNSF 1352) at Lemoyne Junction in Chicago - February 20, 1990.
Dennis DeBruler I verified that Lemoyne is where the Santa Fe crosses the BRC, but judging from the bridge in the background, this train is on BRC tracks. I assume it is returning from a transfer, and it will shove back on the connector to Corwith.
Dennis DeBruler: BNSF called the junction with Santa Fe the Nerska Junction. BRC used the name LeMoyne for both the Santa Fe and the GM&O crossings. After all, if a BRC train is cleared for one of those routes, it better be able to continue on across the other route.

Sam Carlson posted
In November, 1990 at LeMoyne - or is it Nerska? - I saw something I never saw before or since - a former UP unit tastefully patched. Wonder why tasteful patch jobs are so rare? GT did some nice patching on its second hand units.
[More comments discuss the linage of these locomotives.]

Rob Olewinski Cmraseye posted
the broken down vehicle shot
[The train would be on the Belt Railway Company of Chicago and crossing the BNSF/Santa Fe diamonds. The BRC/C&IW bridge is over the Sanitary and Ship Canal.]

Eddie has a 1990 picture of a Santa Fe train that reminds me that people could get close to the action if they stayed on the roads even if the roads were on railroad property. Now I've seen roads that were built with tax payer money that have signs denying unauthorized access.

But I am surprised that someone got close in 2009 to create this video. Note the first BNSF coal transfer on the BRC is leading with its DPU. The second BNSF coal transfer has cars with 5 transverse bays rather than the more typical longitudinal belly dump cars of the first coal transfer.

Note the cut of J.B. Hunt containers in the westbound intermodal. When the railroads lost their LCL business to trucking companies, Santa Fe tore down all of their freight houses and let J.B. Hunt use their yard land for their facility.

A 1989 Flickr picture with a GN Sky Blue goat boxcar and a Southern Pacific caboose.

Update: A 1989 photo of an IC train from David Wilson's Photoset looking North to BRC's bridge. The IC bridge is grey.

Jerry Inselberger posted
This is on the wall at my local Jewel. Where is or was Nerska Junction?
Sam Dickey That picture looks like it's before I-55. Seems to be looking north and the refinery isn't there and the refinery is older than the expressway, so
Nathan Hess And dont try to go down there. Security cameras everywhere and BRC & BNSF police patrol it constantly
Elleby Richard And that's a FACT Nathan Hess. The Belt and BNSF Police be's on it.Dwaine Holman I used to hide over there before I retired.
Michael Matalis Things used to be different, back in the 70's I was photographing there when a Santa Fe cop drove up and told me that I needed to put a sign in my car that I was a railfan so that he'd know not to bother checking me out.
Mark Bilecki Sr. Been there a couple times years back, there are 2 crossings there, Nerska for the BNSF and the BRC, and Lemoyne for the CN, ex IC, ex GM&O, ex C& A lines.
Fred Van Dorpe From what Ive heard, people going crazy on ATVs and dirt bikes is what caused the cameras to be added.
Mark Bilecki Sr. There was a big problem with theft in the area when trains would stop.
Fred Van Dorpe Wow was that really an issue back in 2011-12? (I think thats about when the cams were added) I know in the last 2 years its been a problem with stack trains, but the container break ins were/are specifically at certain spots on the South side. I didnt know the BRC over there would have a problem in that neighborhood.
Mark Bilecki Sr. My late father was on the CPD and was a hot spot with ATSF rr police for a long time in the 80s and 90s.
Nick Hart posted
This BRC local out of Clearing Yard switches industries around the Chicago/Cicero border. It operates three days a week (Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays) and is usually a late morning departure out of Clearing. It's two main customers that I know of are Charter Steel in Chicago, along with Best Foods in Cicero, located less than a mile north of where this photo was taken. There's a few other industries that I don't know of. Anyone by chance know the names?
On this sunny afternoon, the train is headed back south to Clearing after switching Best Foods. Crossing the Cal Sag Channel and the BNSF Chillicothe Subdivision (former ATSF) at the location known as LeMoyne, the local has a BRC MP15AC in charge.
Chicago, IL
April 19th, 2018
Dennis DeBruler commented on Nick's posting
It appears that BRC considered the crossing of GM&O and Santa Fe to be one junction, Lemoyne. The tower was centered between the two. And operationally, they would not be able to cross one unless the other one was also clear. Furthermore, a BRC train would block both railroads. GM&O adopted BRC's name but Santa Fe choose Nerska because the crossing is on the west side of their Nerska Yard. Dan Quinlan explicitly labeled his tower photo Lemoyne/Nerska: 
Brandon McShane answered "Yes" to Richard Blough's question: "Was it Nerska where it crossed SFe and LeMoyne where it crossed GM&O?" So this view is of the Lemoyne interlocking of the Nerska crossing. BTW, the white line next to the tower in this 1938 view was the I&M Canal.
Ramon Rhodes commented on William's post

(new window) At 7:30, I thought it was going to be a unit train of empty center-beam cars. But there was a small cut of covered hoppers at the end. Nonetheless, it is the longest cut of empty center-beam cars I have seen. You can tell they do a lot of lumber up in Canada.

Nick Hart posted
Rolling down the BRC Kenton Line, a WSOR grain extra heads south through LeMoyne [Nerska] with a matching quad of SD40-2's. Crossing the Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal and the former Santa Fe (BNSF Chillicothe Sub), the grain extra, designated as the T004X, is bound for BRC's Clearing Yard. Just behind me, they'll cross the former GM&O (CN Joliet Sub). Aside from a short wait here for cross traffic, the train made good time down the Belt.

Daylight WSOR movements in the area are quite rare, but from time to time, they do happen. Another note of interest, a grade crossing now stands today at this location.

Nathan Hess Does WSOR always use the Kenton to reach Clearing? I sometimes work at a mill near Cicero and rarely see a lot of movement.
Nick Hart Up ahead at Archer Avenue, they make a right hand turn onto the 59th Street Branch and pass locations such as Menard's Curve and 63rd/65th Street in Bedford Park.
Nick Hart posted
G45 (Bensenville to Clearing) heads south through Nerska/LeMoyne with the NYC heritage unit as the sole power. This train accesses the Belt at Cragin, located near Galewood.
Chicago, IL
Dennis DeBruler Thanks for the to/from description as well as the location of the photo. That helps me learn how Chicago railroading works.
Nick Hart You're welcome. The train is crossing the former Santa Fe Chillicothe Sub and just out of view behind me, it'll cross the old GM&O. It tends to take the BRC 59th Street Branch to Clearing Yard most of the time, but today it stayed on the Kenton Line the whole way.
Dennis DeBruler When I go to Midway, I generally take either Central or 55th Street instead of Cicero. So you're saying there is a possibility that I could get caught at the railroad crossing. I wonder how fast and long those trains are.
Mark Simmons Dennis DeBruler Long and slow
Dennis DeBruler Mark Simmons I was afraid they were slow. Maybe I should go back to using Cicero when going to the airport. It makes me appreciate that BNSF normally runs its freights through Downers Grove at 45 mph. The bigger problem for the Main Street crossing is dinkies stopped at the station during rush hour and the gates going down when no trains are present.

David Wilson Flickr 1988 photo of two BN engines working hard after crossing the bridge.